Post by annabelleleigh on Aug 12, 2008 10:58:16 GMT -5
I thought since we're now heading toward Mikey's last CI episode -- and perhaps his final appearance on any L&O franchise show -- we should have a place on this site to celebrate the contributions of Chris Noth and his unforgettable character.
I noticed that YouTube is featuring a few new tribute videos, including this montage of early Logan stills from mothership episodes of nearly two decades ago:
Post by annabelleleigh on Aug 12, 2008 13:19:08 GMT -5
"Indifference" and "Confession" go all the way to Seasons 1 and 2, respectively, when Dick Wolf still had a hand in the scripts.
Do you consider the earliest Logan episodes the best? If so, why?
Logan standouts for me include his final mothership episode -- "Pride" -- and the CI episode (written by Charlie Rubin) that re-introduced the character.
"Pride" really tickled me because at the time I had covered the New York City Council for a few years. Anyone who had to spend much time around these (mostly) arrogant buffoons could relate to Logan in this episode.
CI's "Stress Position" always entertains and intrigues me because it shows Mike Logan as a strong, differentiated counterpoint to Robert Goren. Logan's more visceral approach to injustice gave us an Everyman Hero to whom we could relate. He also came back sly and snappy, unbowed by his Staten Island exile, and also deepened by it. Noth captures the matured Logan beautifully in this episode.
I wish the creative staff had incorporated the Goren and Logan stories more. In both STRESS POSITION and IN THE WEE SMALL HOURS I saw mutual respect between the two detectives. I'm not sure they'd ever become friends--they're too different--but I could see the department's treatment of Goren as being another reason (as if he doesn't have enough) for Logan to question his future with the NYPD.
My heart belongs to Goren and Mr. D'Onofrio, but I've really come to like and respect Mike Logan the character and Chris Noth the actor. Outside of the LOCI world, is there a lot of interest in the followers of the mothership in the character's fate?
Post by dragonsback on Aug 12, 2008 17:07:40 GMT -5
Well, where to begin with Mike Logan? Like AL, I see Mikey as one of the emblematic characters of L&O, along with Briscoe, McCoy and van Buren. He's so inextricably bound up in the show's landscape, that singling out special moments is hard - like picking out a favorite leaf on a well-formed tree.
His imperfect, sightly florid handsomeness (a New York Irish type), his cock sureness and his almost child-like insecurity, a would-be lady killer who was scarred by an abusive drunken mother - loads of contrasts that, though lightly written in the plot-driven scripts, Noth always managed to bring into play. Some great acting there
My clearest isolated memory of a Mikey episode is probably "Bad Faith" about the ex-priest who is a child molester. Powerful ep all around, but if you've seen it, you'll know what I mean when I say that the line "We called you 'Father' " is unforgettable.
And is Noth one of the best reactive actors around, or what? Remember the ep "Rage", in which Courtney B Vance plays a young corrupt black stockbroker? He and Mikey have an extraordinary exchange - quiet, contemptuous, seething. It culminated with Vance lethally zinging Mike with the final line "Detective, I AM better than you." Great roiling fury and shame passes over Logan's face. And then there's my favorite Logan-CI ep "Blasters", when the Albanian mobster tells Logan that he's "in blood" and Noth conveys every emotion from rage to fear to hatred to shock without moving more than half a facial muscle.
In LOCI, Logan found a more mature, more controlled self, and that was realistic and attractive. I never did get the sense of Logan-ness, though, and often I wished that the old (young) Mikey would flash to the surface just once in a while. It would have been good to show that dimension to LOCI viewers who weren't familiar with the L&O Mikey.
Oh, who am I kidding? I could care less about those viewers. I really wanted a flash of brash Logan. Would have been fun for those of us who knew Mikey 'from the old neighborhood' ;D
Post by maherjunkie on Aug 12, 2008 20:46:01 GMT -5
Maybe Wolf is more talented as a writer than a businessman. I think they were great because they were both so emotional and gave background. I think most any show at the beginning is at its' best because the energy is fresh.
Post by diablodeblanco on Aug 12, 2008 22:17:03 GMT -5
One scene from L&O that stays with me is when Logan and his partner are chasing a perp who runs into an apartment building and out the upstairs and then down a narrow alley. Logan's partner is afoot in hot pursuit while Logan quietly goes to where the perp is going to exit the alley. Logan could have shot him but instead he grabs the lid of a garbage can and as the perp runs passed him, Logan bangs him in the face with the lid. The next scene shows the perp in the interrogation room with his broken nose bandaged. Great Logan scene......
Post by annabelleleigh on Aug 13, 2008 13:59:40 GMT -5
From the heart of Ohio, where college football reigns supreme, an excerpt from a TV column with a very brief nod to the impending loss of Mikey and Noth. (I'm not necessarily in accord with her other sentiments.)
Boldface mine. Spot on phrase, IMO.
AL ------------------------------ Changing of the guard
By Molly Willow The Columbus Dispatch August 13, 2008
"Chris Noth, who first played detective Mike Logan almost two decades ago on Law & Order, will appear on his final Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode Sunday.In the episode, a priest asks him to investigate a 16-year-old triple murder.
I often found CI too plodding and twitchy before the show was split into two casts three years ago and Noth began sharing the lead with Vincent D'Onofrio.
Noth has a wry ease that also makes him great boyfriend material (see Sex and the City).This is a trait he doesn't share with replacement Jeff Goldblum, who built a career on awkward pauses before D'Onofrio made them his character's trademark." ------------------------
And in The Nashville City Paper today (boldface again mine --and a sentiment I wholly endorse):
An era ends on ‘Law and Order’
By Ron Wynn August 13, 2008
"Chris Noth makes his final appearance on 'Law and Order: Criminal Intent' on Sunday...Chris Noth ends a portrayal that dates back to the very first episode of the long-running crime drama Law and Order. Noth played detective Mike Logan during the series first five years, and many fans still consider the pairing of Noth and the late Jerry Orbach one of the best (if not the best) investigative teams the show ever featured.
Over the past couple of years Noth has been appearing every other week on Law and Order: Criminal Intent....
...In a sense history will repeat itself thematically. Logan’s first departure was triggered by a hot-tempered reaction to what he deemed a miscarriage of justice, and this time he’ll once again pick a fight he can’t win.
When Logan discovers a man is doing hard time in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he decides to investigate. But that pits him against a District Attorney (Leslie Hope) determined that her high-profile conviction not be overturned. It’s an appropriate finale for Noth, whose character went from raging novice to seasoned veteran over the years.
A four-episode marathon of Logan’s toughest cases from this current season will be shown Saturday night on USA beginning at 6 p.m...."
I'll have more to say after "Last Rites." But for now, I want to thank Chris Noth for giving his character Mike Logan nobility and a strong sense of justice on both the original L&O and CI. I am going to miss both the actor and the character, and wish them both well.
Patrick Roy, 2006 inductee into the Hockey Hall of Fame
Post by annabelleleigh on Aug 16, 2008 9:33:15 GMT -5
Anotherwell-written tribute to Chris Noth, posted yesterday at Film.com.
Chris Noth Hangs Up The Badge -- Again
by Charlie Toft Film.com August 15, 2008
"Sunday marks the end of an era, although perhaps we should be a bit careful in calling it such, since we thought the era had ended once before. Chris Noth will make his final appearance on Law & Order: Criminal Intent as detective Mike Logan, nearly 18 years after the character was introduced during the first season of Law & Order.
It's hard to know what the impact will be on Criminal Intent, which got its first-run episodes bumped to USA in 2007 due to declining ratings on NBC. (There are rumors that everyone took a pay cut when the series moved, and Noth's lack of interest in doing that is why he's now a former cast member.)...
...That was the element Noth added to Criminal Intent and its parent show: authenticity. The same actor who portrayed the urbane Mr. Big on Sex and the City was completely believable as a detective who wore his temper on his sleeve. When he was matched with Jerry Orbach on Law & Order -- they were together for less than three seasons but are still the best remembered of all L&O detective pairings -- the show really took off for the first time. The world-weary cynicism of Orbach's Lennie Briscoe fit perfectly with Logan's in-your-face physicality.
Along the way, viewers learned some things about what made Logan the man he was, rare bits of character development on the most plot-driven show in television history. He made reference to having been molested by a priest as a boy, something not often talked about in the early '90s. Logan often made sardonic asides relating to his difficult childhood, particularly growing up with an abusive, alcoholic mother. His reaction to the departure of his first two partners (one was killed and the other left the streets after being shot) revealed how much Logan relied on having an older figure in his life that he could trust.
The real Noth had one thing in common with Logan: both could be outspoken when things didn't go their way...
...But crucially, Wolf decided not to kill Logan off: he was merely exiled to one of the outer boroughs. This allowed the other L&O characters to make occasional references to what he was doing now, and allowed fans to dream of a scenario that would find him coming back (dreams that grew more fervent after Benjamin Bratt proved to be an inadequate replacement). Logan's first revival came in 1998 with the made-for-TV movie Exiled, which told the story of how Logan got back in the good graces of the NYPD. It was a signal that the wounds were healing, and paved the way for Noth to return to the franchise for good in 2005.
In the meantime, of course, Noth took on a role that while less central to its show proved to be much more significant from a pop culture standpoint, playing the on-again, off-again love interest of Sarah Jessica Parker on Sex and the City. The film version of the series was a surprise hit in the spring, and may have given Noth the push he needed to say goodbye to Criminal Intent...
...Unless the sendoff for Logan on Sunday's Criminal Intent has more finality than the one we saw in 1995, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see him pounding the pavement again. It's his destiny."
Post by dragonsback on Aug 16, 2008 16:13:01 GMT -5
I am really loving that journos are marking Logan's departure as important, and worthy of reflection. I'm not sure this writer is at the top of his game, though. SatC The Movie was not a surprise hit - it was the summer hit that all expected it to be. Bigger nitpick: Logan was NEVER molested. The pedophile priest invited him into the 'circle'- via going to a movie, I think - but young Mikey declined. Even as a child, his instincts were sharp; he was suspicious without knowing exactly why, and that says worlds more about Logan than being haunted by molestation, IMO.